How long have you known that you were a writer?
I’ve known my whole life. I used to write little poems and grew up writing a journal.
Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?
Creative Cooking for Colitis was there to bring hope and joy back into the lives of others who also struggle with this condition.
What is the genre you write in?
I actually write in several genres, but if you could put one overlying theme on it I would call it wisdom. Whether I’m writing a cookbook full of tips, non-fiction Christian living, or clear-cut Christian fiction the theme is always wisdom.
Would you explain what it is?
This particular book is Health/Cookbooks. It’s a tight niche for a specific condition, but I hope that it becomes a classic for the nearly 2 million colitis patients in America. Recently I looked at the message in my work. I felt like through all of it ran the theme of wisdom. It’s even in my freelance work with ezines, magazines, etc. I found that really intriguing that I didn’t realize that for so long. I think it’s the message God whispered into me from the beginning and let me catch a glimpse of now and then.
How do you spend your writing days?
This might sound a little unusual, but I start off working in bed. Since I live on the Western side of the country, all the business seems to get started much earlier. So when I wake up, I’ve found I say my prayers and read my devotional. Then I pick up my blackberry and look for any emails that absolutely have a time crunch. I also delete those I don’t need. It clears my mind for sitting down to my computer later. I don’t worry over whether something will become emergent anymore. So I’m actually at my desk by between 9 and 10 a.m. I stay there until I’m hungry. Then I take a break to eat, run errands, and do chores. I’m usually back upstairs in my office from evening until wee hours. I work best as a night owl on new material.
Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day?
I try for 2K words on days I’m adding new material. But if I get into a zone, I will go until I fall asleep at the computer, and yes that’s happened, lol.
Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
This cookbook took the least of anything time wise. It took me two months only because I had to make each dish, photograph them, and learn to format a cookbook. I definitely want to do another. It was so much fun! The non-fiction book I finished last year took me three months. But fiction is harder for me. I would say three to six months.
Tell us about your new book. What is the spiritual message in it?
Creative Cooking for Colitis is both heart work and hard work. I was diagnosed with severe microscopic colitis that caused malnutrition and dehydration for six months. I had lost all hope of enjoying food without pain, of eating happily around the table with my family, and of confidently going to social outings. This book worked for me and the journey back to hope and joy. God created food for both our nourishment and enjoyment. He wants us to take joy in His provision. I hope that I’ve written a book that honors God’s desire to give us joy.
What can readers expect to get from reading it?
A lot of hope through fun recipes with beautiful photos. They are intentionally simple, though some are a bit more elegant than others. I also think it’s great for the extended family to know what to cook for meals and holidays. When our loved ones have such debilitating health issues, it’s easy to feel helpless and not know what to serve. I think this cookbook offers freedom for both the colitis sufferer and the family/friends who want to include them in mealtime as well as happy holiday traditions.
How and where can readers buy your book?
The ISBNs are:
978-0-9827172-0-2 for the CD version
978-0-9827172-1-9 for the e-book PDF version
Do you ever feel like giving up?
Oh yes. But it’s in my DNA, writing. I’m not happy when I don’t write. I might take a little time off, but I’ve noticed I lose joy during that time. I think we were just made for specific purpose and mine is speaking & writing.
Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through?
When I was so sick for six months, the fatigue made it almost impossible to write. I wanted to, but just as I’d start another wave would hit. I couldn’t think clearly. I began to lose hope that I would live out the calling I was so sure God seemed to weave into my soul. Mix that with the confusion of life’s demands and it seems that writing keeps moving down the list. I found that when I didn’t write, I was the least satisfied and the most irritable.
Who’s inspired you the most?
I have had the blessing of so many heroes. Some of them were put right in my path to help me take the correct fork in the cross roads and some were there to encourage or uplift me. Sunni Jeffers, Margaret Daley, Julie Cowan, Tosca Lee, Mary DeMuth, Randy Ingermanson, Tamela Hancock-Murray, my blog partners on Writing By Faith, Cec Murphy, and recently Marlene Bagnull. Truly, there are so many that I could write pages of names. Each one had a unique gift and I am grateful for each one.
Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Grin.
Oh don’t we all wish, lol.
For this cookbook, I was pointed to Kunaki.com to create the CD version. I chose to self-publish it in order to control the material and amount of photography, but also the fact that I wanted to help the Jadyn Fred Foundation. I didn’t want to wait on getting it out in the public.
My non-fiction book coming up will be traditionally published. It was rejected many times before landing in the right place (information pending on this one in a few more weeks.) I wrote a new proposal for each publishing house based on their needs. It was a huge amount of work because each proposal is 30-50 pages long in addition to the length of the book. It’s crucial to understand the publishers and their different needs. It was because of this research that I decided to self-publish the cookbook. I didn’t want to make it fit certain guidelines. I wanted the ability to be out-of-the-box and very creative with it.
Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?
This is where the hard work starts. While promoting the book that is out there, and that takes hours every day, I have to start the next one. The crucial part to being a successful author is that you always have another book in the pipeline. You don’t get to sit back and admire the cover of the latest book for weeks on end. In the publishing business, it takes so long to get a book to the shelf that the next one MUST be in the chute. All the while a writer has to make time to do the social networking, blog tours, speaking engagements, and attend conferences. Writing takes intentionality and intense internal drive!
Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes?
- Well, for the cooking side of me, I admit to hating fish and coconut. You won’t find those ingredients in my recipes, but you will find nutritional substitutions.
- I also will share that I don’t like loud, harsh noises. I don’t know if that comes from living in the country or just me. But you won’t find me comfortable in really loud events.
- I love baking and love doing that with my grandson.
- I really enjoy reviewing books, singing, and public speaking.
- My favorite sport is synchronized swimming to both watch and do myself. But I haven’t had much time for it recently.
- My new miniature horse, Spanky, gets lots of attention as I’m working with him to let my grandson ride. I hope to train him for visiting children’s hospitals in the future.
- Besides food, I love to photograph my horses and the sites of Montana.
Scotland and Sweden, I’d love to live in both places for several weeks or more. I’d like to write fiction while I’m there. Oh, my heart sighed as I wrote those dreams.
Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out?
Yes, thank you.
and two blogs:
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’ll be speaking at some upcoming events. I’ll have the CD version of the e-cookbook with me for the special price of $10 also. Any time I speak, that’s where people can get a better price than the online regular price of $12. If anyone would like to attend, they are:
I’d love to give away one of my e-cookbooks to one of the readers here.
If you don’t win, please come over to the New Release Special on http://www.mygemofwisdom.com/ and get the discount. It’s on sale for $10 during April! If you like it, please mention it on your social medias. I’d be highly appreciative. The only way to help people is if they know where to find the help.
Thank you so much for hosting me!
Thank you for joining me on my blog, Angie! I loved having you. Folks, check out Angie's book for sure!